Yauch was treated for cancer in 2009 and underwent surgery and radiation therapy, which lead to a delay in the Beastie Boy's album release and tour, although it's unclear what role, if any, the cancer played in his death.
In October 2009, the rapper told the BBC that he was feeling healthy, strong and hopeful that I've beaten this thing, of course time will tell. He traveled to a Tibetan community in Dharamsala, India, after his surgery, after which he began eating a vegan/organic diet on the advice of his Tibetan doctors, who also prescribed him traditional Tibetan medicine.
He is survived by wife Dechen Wangdu, the American-born daughter of prominent Tibetan activists whom he met in 1995 while attending a speech by the Dalai Lama at Harvard University, and daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch.
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